Third Eye

China is right to reassert itself on Taiwan

Thursday, August 11th, 2022 03:33 | By
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo/AFP

The “G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on Preserving Peace and Stability Across the Taiwan Strait” on August 3 was drafted in characteristic belligerence and condescension.

Instead of admitting that the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi had transgressed by visiting Taiwan on August 2 while holding such a high level government position, the ministers actually justified the trip and went ahead to dare China to do its worse if she felt aggrieved. \

While according to the statement it is “routine for legislators from our countries to travel internationally”, the Group of Seven ministers must surely have been cognizant of the fact that Taiwan is not just another destination.

 It has been the source of territorial conflict between the US and China, with the former laying claim to Taiwan as part of its legitimate territory which it would like possess conclusively. Therefore, it was misleading for the G7 to claim that China was unilaterally seeking to change the status quo both in the Taiwan Strait and in the region.

 The Group had no moral authority to lecture China on what it can and cannot do to enforce and protect its One-China policy, to which the US is a party to as a matter of principle.

Pelosi’s visit was in no way an innocent event, neither did it harbour any goodwill. The G7 was speaking from both sides of its mouth by claiming that “there is no change in the respective one China policies, where applicable”.

In a press statement last week in Phnom Penh, Cambodia following the G7 statement, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister WangYi reiterated that there is only one China, and both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one and the same China since ancient times.

“The China-US Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations issued in 1978, the second one of the three China US joint communiqués, clearly emphasizes that the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and Taiwan is part of China, which has been the status quo across the Taiwan Straits for decades,” Wang noted.

Since Pelosi’s visit, China has initiated military activity in the Taiwan Strait as a way of sending an unequivocal message that it is not ready to surrender an inch of its territory or engage in unnecessary negotiations about its right.

In the face of US hostility, it was hypocritical for the G7 to criticize China for initiating defensive military exercises geared towards upholding its sovereignty and territorial integrity, of which Taiwan is an unalienable part of. But make no mistake. Pelosi’s visit was in no way an innocent event, neither did it harbour any goodwill.

It is part of the US’s constant provocations directed at China as a way of testing its reflexes. These actions are also aimed at destabilising the second largest economy in the world, and to curb and weaken its expanding geopolitical footprint. On the flipside, experts say Pelosi’s visit was actually a blessing for China’s claim to Taiwan.

The effect in the international community was the complete opposite of what the US expected. For instance, ina press conference on August 3, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated support for the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 2758 of 1971 and one-China policy. “Our position is very clear. We abide by General Assembly resolutions, by the one-China policy, and that is the orientation that we have in everything we do.”

 UNGA Resolution 2758 “considers that the restoration of the lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China is essential both for the protection of the Charter of the United Nations and for the cause that the United Nations must serve under the Charter.” Clearly, the authority of the UN supersedes the feelings of the US.

 — The writer comments on international affairs.

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